A BODY representing traders in Worcester has backed a new blueprint for the city centre - saying it is "extremely supportive" of the plan.

Adrian Field, head of Worcester's Business Improvement District, says ideas like free parking one evening a week will give the city's economy a vital boost.

As your Worcester News revealed on Monday, the city council's Conservative leadership has backed a raft of ideas to boost trade and help the centre's appearance.

It includes a charge for shops to place A-boards outside premises, a clampdown on retailers leaving black sacks out overnight, the launch of a farmer's market and talks over free parking one evening every week.

Worcester BID's first five-year term as the body representing city shops runs out in November and the body intends to get a new council deal for another five-year spell.

Mr Field said among the early ideas for a second term is a "restaurant week" and free parking would help boost that.

He also said the range of ideas backed by the council's Tory administration are worth pursuing.

All shops are being sent letters asking them to not leave bags out overnight, and the use of hessian sacks will be encouraged as they are tougher to rip open.

"We have been undertaking consultation ahead of our second five-year term ballot in November and we know that businesses will be extremely supportive of the free parking agreement which will help all sectors of the economy," said Mr Field.

"If the ballot is successful some of our proposed projects such as a 'restaurant week' promotion, for example, would clearly benefit on the back of this.

"Encouraging hessian sacks to put waste in and seeking to limit the period of time that it is left outside a business frontage will help prevent seagulls having an easy food source - we know that implementing similar ideas in Bath has worked very well for example."

Councillor Marc Bayliss, city council deputy leader and cabinet member for economic prosperity, said: "I want to work with the BID as we go forward on all of these areas.

"It's about trying to improve the city centre - when it comes to the free parking it's a 'chicken and egg' situation, we need as much support as we can get.

"I'm very keen on a farmer's market - we live in a rural county which has great produce."